Iran could produce enough weapons-grade uranium to build a nuclear bomb in as little as a month, according to a new estimate by one of the USA’s top nuclear experts.
The new assessment comes as the White House invited Senate staffers to a briefing on negotiations with Iran as it is trying to persuade Congress not to go ahead with a bill to stiffen sanctions against Iran.
The Obama administration has said Iran is probably a year away from having enough enriched uranium to make a bomb.
United Nations inspectors have found evidence of a weapons program in violation of Iran’s commitment under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The USA and the U.N. Security Council have implemented crippling economic sanctions on Iran to sway it to take steps to assure the world it is not developing a bomb.
Israel, which sees an Iranian nuclear bomb as a threat to its very existence, has said it will take military action to prevent Iran from getting a bomb.
ISIS estimated in October 2012 that Iran could produce enough highly-enriched uranium for a bomb within two to four months. The new estimate is based on an analysis of the latest reports by Iran and the the IAEA.
ISIS considered various scenarios, including if Iran decided to build a covert enrichment plant like it has under a mountain in Fordow, near the city of Qom, that was designed for optimal efficiency and minimal time to enrich enough uranium for bomb making. Such a facility built with current Iranian technology could produce enough material for a bomb in a week, according to the ISIS report.